Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 21, 2012 03:03 PM
Starbucks has been spreading its wings in recent months. First the news came that some of its outlets would start serving beer and wine. Then Starbucks opened its first Evolution Fresh juice bar in suburban Seattle. Earlier this month, the ubiquitous coffee chain purchased the Bay Area's La Boulange bakery for $100 million in a bid to upgrade its food offerings. (That deal was done in cash, by the way. No word if the money was in a briefcase handcuffed to anybody’s wrist.)
That’s a lot of wing-spreading, but Starbucks execs over there must be cranking down extra double espressos these days because now comes word that Starbucks is giving more love to another sub-brand by opening its first Tazo tea store this fall in the hopes of doing for tea what the company has done for coffee drinking.
The plan is for the Tazo store, located in its corporate hometown of Seattle, to “sell more than 80 varieties of loose-leaf tea and other tea products,” Reuters reports, and “also offer hot and cold tea drinks, brewing equipment, pastries, packaged chocolates, infused sugars and honey.” As it is now, Tazo is a $1.4 billion brand for Starbucks, but the company would like to grow it since it estimates that the global market for tea is $95 billion.
And today Starbucks announced its first Seattle's Best Coffee "commuter concept" store in Brooklyn, near the NYC borough's new Barclays Center sports arena that will be home to the Brooklyn Nets this fall.
According to a press release, SBC's "concept menu, which debuted as a test in Chicago in March, boasts delicious coffee beverages, and commuter-friendly sandwiches and snacks that will appear for the first time on the East Coast." We assume that Brooklyn Nets co-owner Jay-Z will approve.